Archive for category Elizabeth May

Political Coup and The Dangers of Knee Jerk Reactions to Unproven Allegations

Former Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown Faces Unproven Allegations of Misconduct

Like many when I first heard the news about the allegations made against Patrick Brown, I jumped on the bandwagon. My first thought was how disgusting a man he is, but when I actually saw the reports and those who have launched the allegations against Brown speak; I was so shocked not to hear any accusations of criminal wrongdoing. I was expecting something similar to Jian Ghomeshi and reports of sexual violence. No we didn’t hear that at all, instead we heard from two women whose identities were masked and allegations of feeling uncomfortable around Brown after a night of partying and admittedly voiced their concerns to Brown, and Brown took them home. By no means were these allegations of rape or sexual violence. Barrie police have indicated they are not following through with an investigation.

The PC Party moved swiftly to remove Brown within a matter of hours after these allegations came to light. I’ve reported on this blog, and have heard from several sources previously that many in the PC party thought Brown would lose the next election. He wasn’t popular with the public; in fact many across the province didn’t know who he was until last week when these allegations came to light. He was also not popular in the party for being too left leaning. The speed in which the PC party moved was also a red flag. The following day caucus members held a press conference which seemed very hastily done, which also raised my concerned. The events that followed that caucus press conference, seems to strongly suggest a party coup:

The accusations being made anonymously are around misconduct, not criminal activity but the accusations are being treated as criminal in the court of public opinion.

CTV reported they had two more women who have come forward regarding allegations of misconduct against Brown, but what was reported was third party hearsay:

https://twitter.com/jkobopoli/status/956745762703994880

https://twitter.com/jkobopoli/status/956745808765861889

We had Lisa MacLeod trying to take out the executive of the party before walking into a caucus meeting trying to position herself for leadership contention:

https://twitter.com/CBCAlerts/status/956899056701378560

https://twitter.com/JeremyHall1986/status/956935163484819457

Only to backtrack after a leader was appointed:

https://twitter.com/sandragionas/status/956944267133546497

Then we had an appointed interim leader spar off with the press over the term “leader”

https://twitter.com/blakeoliver13/status/956955070981181440

We then have the caucus’s decision overturned by the party for an election.

https://twitter.com/KrisReports/status/957012676907061248

This all seems to point to MacLeod at present possibly Fedeli as well.

I’m not at all trying to discredit what’s being alleged by the women who came forward, but we need a balance so that women aren’t afraid to speak out but at the same time we don’t end up with knee jerk reactions and convictions in the court of public opinion based on hearsay. By the time these allegations hit social media, the damage is done, and very hard to recover from if these allegations prove to be false.  There’s also a national security risk tied to this as well.

Global adversaries infiltrated the black lives matter movement, during the US election last year. If adversaries see politicians being taken down on anonymous allegations of “misconduct”, that has the very high potential of effecting our political landscape to their own advantage. I don’t know what the answers are but the past 48 hours aren’t it. I also don’t think Fedeli should be allowed to run a leadership contention either. Intern leaders have an unfair edge over the others.

There is a very real chance that the #metoo movement in Canada could have the opposite effect on Canadian women that it intends. Accusers should not be not judge, jury and executioners. There is a danger that false accusations could arise, and innocent lives destroyed. Some say, that’s justice to all the harm women have endured under powerful man, however what’s more likely to happen is as we go through this movement, employers may look upon women as too risky to hire because any accusation ejected onto social media with complete disregard for facts, and based on rumor and gossip can ruin a person in a matter of seconds. Basing allegations on hearsay could also mean that women are also subjected to false accusations of professional misconduct as well, which is something Green Party Elizabeth May is currently dealing with.

A plan to move forward must treat each party equally and with respect for the law, and with respect to each party’s rights under law. The right to speak out and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty must be upheld. Without this very basic concept of human rights, we risk descending into chaos, with real world repercussions on all of our security and will set back gains made for decades in civil rights, and equality. We are a nation of laws. We must decide if we plan on keeping it that way.

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The US May Have Trump; But Canada Has An Alien

Let’s put it this way; we could have used the swagger and unexpectedness Donald Trump presented in last nights US Republican debates in the Canadian leaders debate.  Instead, the first hour the Canadian debate consisted of Conservative leader Stephen Harper doing what he does best which is misleading Canadians on facts.  Green Party leader Elizabeth May catching Harper on misleading facts (which is why she needs to be in every debate).  Liberal leader Justin Trudeau attacking the NDP leader Tom Mulcair over a non-issue regarding Quebec separatism because he’s lost a tremendous amount of support to Mulcair over the anti-terror bill.  Finally Mulcair looked like he was part of some alien race freaking people out on social media with his weird smile, and alien like black eyes peering into their living rooms when he looked directly into the camera when debating the other leaders.

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The two that had the best body language in the debate were the two national debate veterans, May and Harper.  Trudeau came across as a kid with something to prove (Liberals think his downfall is due to Harper’s attack ads, not his position on supporting the new anti-terror bill.  Liberals are still tone deaf on that because they have nothing to fear but fear itself), and Mulcair just looked nervous for the first hour.  On the other hand May seemed very well prepared, however didn’t do well in the first hour to inject her voice over the others.  Harper was calm and cool to begin with, however came across as though he got annoyed at the fact he actually had to debate the other parties and defend his record.

Those of us who follow Canadian politics closely saw relatively nothing new regarding policy positions.  Harper played the expected “steady as you go” position on the economy warning that the opposition parties would raise taxes and put the country in a horrible economic  position.  Mulcair and May made a good point that corporate taxes have remained low, and the Bank of Canada has been extremely worried in the past that these corporations are just sitting on the money they saved from tax breaks rather than creating jobs.

The environment debate which happened in the second hour, May just owned it and the other parties let her have the floor.  May called Harper to account on his environmental commitments, getting Harper to admit that emission reduction targets will not be reached by 2020, but by 2030.  May also questioned Mulcair on his support of pipelines, which Mulcair remained non-committal on, and May kept pressing him on.

On the new anti-terror bill, there are stark differences between the parties.  Harper said it was necessary;  Trudeau is for and against the bill; Mulcair starkly pledged to Canadians he would repeal the bill (looking directly into the camera with his alien like black eyes) and if new powers were needed, Mulcair consult the experts first.  Essentially Mulcair wants proof these new powers would be needed, and how to implement them in a way that doesn’t impede the rights of Canadians.  Trudeau actually did admit that he may have been naive in his support of the anti-terror bill, but continues to support it.

I think the major news from this debate that Canadians need to be aware of, is not what happened during the debates but after.  May, Trudeau and Mulcair all took questions from the press after the debate.  Harper didn’t take any questions nor did he appear before the press after which I found very bizarre and arrogant.  We’re in an election Harper.  Deal with it!

All in all, I think it was a good introduction to the party leaders to those who do not follow politics closely.  I don’t think this first debate will have that much of an impact on voters.  If your a conservative supporter, you’re likely to remain that way and same with the other party’s supporters.  Mulcair needs to bring his style of debating that he has during question period to future debates.  That’s where he shines, and Trudeau needs to stop bouncing around like a boxer and listen to Canadians more as to why he’s so low in the polls:

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